Stress

Running out of life

A happy life consists in tranquility of mind. ~ Cicero

I’ve come to the conclusion that stress equals death. At least, that’s my take away after reading the opening paragraph’s from Jonah Lehrer’s Wired article over at ScienceBlogs. Why is this important? Mostly because my doc keeps harping on me about my levels of stress. Why? Jonah so thoughtfully explains…

Here’s one example of how stress destroys the body. Elissa Epel, a former grad student of Sapolsky’s and a professor of psychiatry at UCSF, has demonstrated that mothers caring for chronically ill report much higher levels of stress. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that these women also have dramatically shortened telomeres, those caps on the end of chromosomes that keep our DNA from disintegrating. (Women with the highest levels of stress had telomere shortening equal “to at least one decade of additional aging.”) When our telomeres run out, our cells stop dividing; we’ve run out of life. Stress makes us run out of life faster.

If that doesn’t scare the sh*t out of you, then maybe this little tidbit will (especially if you’re a guy – emphasis mine)…

Stress hollows out our bones and atrophies our muscles. It triggers adult onset diabetes and is a leading cause of male impotence. In fact, numerous studies of human longevity in developed countries have found that “psychosocial” factors such as stress are the single most important variable in determining the length of a life. It’s not that genes and risk factors like smoking don’t matter. It’s that our levels of stress matter more.

No wonder my doc keeps saying “cut it out!”

Here’s to living a happy and LOOOOONG life! Cheers y’all!

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Categories: Health, Stress | Leave a comment

All You Do Is Talk

A conversation, like dancing, has some rules, although I’ve never seen them stated anywhere. The objective of conversation is to entertain or inform the other person while not using up all of the talking time. A big part of how you entertain another person is by listening and giving your attention. Ideally, your own enjoyment from conversation comes from the other person doing his or her job of being interesting. If you are entertaining yourself at the other person’s expense, you’re doing it wrong. ~ Scott Adams (Dilbert creator)

I’m kind of fond of the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Have been for a long time! They’ve got a little number out called All You Do Is Talk. It’s pretty good! Back in high school days I was a HUGE fan of TALK TALK. Scary if you look at some of the pics of me from back then. Ha! TALK TALK has a great track called…you guessed it…Talk Talk. I could watch that video ALL DAY LONG! Yeah, I’m a dork kinda! There are a few people in my life who can talk, talk, talk. You get to a point where you want to scream “ZIP IT!” And if that doesn’t work, you just stare at the movement of their earrings and entertain yourself whilst tuning them clear out. Interestingly enough, I have at times gotten so wrapped up in some silly head-trip of wondering if I’m monopolizing all the conversation that I’ve literally made myself a stressed out mess. The funny thing is, I’m not that guy, I’ve just at times gotten myself weirded out into believing I was. Scott’s comment reminded me that (i) there are rules to conversations, (ii) those rules make perfect sense and (iii) I shouldn’t get myself all worried because I’m not that guy/girl we all know that can’t shut the hell up and in the end entertains just themselves. Funny, knowing there are rules and that I’m living by them (for the most part) actually is a stress reliever. That and pulling out all my old TALK TALK cassettes and giving them a good whirl!

Here’s to identifying our point of stress and then eliminating it. Cheers y’all!

Categories: Health, Stress, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

Stress-busting

Most stress comes from thinking of the past or the future. The present moment is always the most powerful time in your life. ~ Craig Townsend

3:00 AM! The clock on my iPhone reminded me I was still awake. Ugh! It’s not like I hadn’t been exhausted when I stumbled into bed earlier that night. In fact, I was so tired I had struggled to keep my eyes open, but now, here I was, wide awake knowing that the coming daylight brought a mountain of work I would now be very under-equipped to deal with. Double Ugh!! Sometimes keeping the world turning is stressful! Oh wait, that’s not my job. Then why do I act like the world will quit rotating on its axis if I’m not actively managing every little thing that’s going on? Funny thing, the world keeps right on whizzing by with or without my help. However, when I actively quit trying to manage the speed of the whiz, I end up being a much happier, healthier person. Living in the moment, it’s a trick I’m learning. I haven’t arrived yet, but dammit, I’m getting there!

Here’s to letting the world do it’s thing and focusing on this moment…my moment. Cheers y’all!

Categories: Change, Confession, Growth, Happiness, Health, Stress, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

Nutty

…some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t…

That jingle from the Almond Joy/Mounds commercials has been running through my head of late. One of the projects I lead at work has our membership partnering with leadership to enhance the “health care delivery” process. Our monthly meeting with these members comes on a Friday and today I was wiped out. A combination of the time-change, professional obligations and personal issues left me feeling nuttier than a jar of peanut butter, or, as my great-grandmother use to say, “like I had been run through the wringer forward and back.” As I looked around the room at these amazing people I get the priviledge of working with, I started to remember some of the backstories, not always good and I was reminded that here were a group of people who were able to look past their own, sometimes significant issues, at the bigger picture. I needed that boost! I needed a reminder that being myopic in my view is detrimental to my health. I left that meeting encouraged, and, for the first time in days, felt a smile on my face. It’s ok to feel nutty sometimes…lord knows, I much prefer Almond Joys…but, there’s a bigger world out there than just my own little psychosis.

Here’s to remembering there’s a whole world outside of our little four walls! Go enjoy life! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Breathe, Growth, Health, Peace, Stress, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

A Prayer

Tonight I sat with a friend who is going through deep torment. It’s painful to watch one you love and care for going through so much and know that there is nothing you can do or say to change the situation. So, I listened and I cried a little and in my heart, I prayed a prayer for peace of mind. Instead of my usual thought for the day, I’d like to offer this prayer in honor of my friend, and everyone, who is going through a dark, tormented place.

Dear God,

The thoughts in my mind are not the ones I want.
I don’t seem to be doing a great job of changing them.

I am willing to think what you would have me think.
I am willing to be at peace.

I claim the confidence of the psalmist in Psalm 91:

You deliver me my God from the snare of the fowler.
You deliver me my God from the noisome pestilence.

I now affirm:
The thoughts in my mind are the ones I want.
I am thinking what you would think.
I am at peace.

Thank you so much.

Amen

Good night my friend! “May the peace that passes all human understanding guard your mind and heart.”

Categories: Discouragement, Friends, God's Care, Stress, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

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